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  1. #1
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    Just how much can a carbon fork take?

    I am thinking of ditching my Fox F100 29er fork and replacing it with one of Niner's carbon rigid forks on my Air 9. I don't really see the need of suspension for me.

    I mostly ride relatively smooth trails but on a few days of the week I ride trails with pretty rocky and technical descents.

    So, just how strong are carbon forks? I am hesitant to buy a set because I am not so sure about the carbon being able to stand up to relatively aggressive XC riding.

    I'm not heavy at all (145 pounds) and the most I'll probably be doing is a 3 to 4 foot drop and some aggressive rock gardens. I'm really only worried about the strength of the forks. The last thing I want is for them to break on me while riding.

    So, how many people own these Niner carbon forks and how mean do you guys treat them? Keep in mind my head tube IS NOT TAPERED! Not sure if that makes a difference in strength or not.

  2. #2
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    If you're doing 3-4' drops, I'd suggest keeping the suspension. Rock gardens are fine if you're not barging through too fast.

    I'm the same weight as you and I run a Niner on my Carve. I ride aggressively, but pick clean lines and don't do big drops. Small jumps are fine. Rocks aren't huge where I ride either.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    If you're doing 3-4' drops, I'd suggest keeping the suspension. Rock gardens are fine if you're not barging through too fast.

    I'm the same weight as you and I run a Niner on my Carve. I ride aggressively, but pick clean lines and don't do big drops. Small jumps are fine. Rocks aren't huge where I ride either.
    I think I miscalculated. 3 foot drops would really be the maximum I would be doing. There is only one 3 foot drop on one of the trails I ride so I wouldn't be hitting it regularly. I also pick clean lines too but sometimes even the cleanest line in a rock garden has proved itself to be quite nasty indeed.

  4. #4
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    There have been instances of frames (with carbon forks mounted) breaking before the carbon forks do, so I reckon you'd be pretty safe.

    Just avoid hitting things and stopping dead with the front wheel at speed. Things like trees and buses.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  5. #5
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    Non-tapered steer tube and 135lbs... not worried about three foot drops and rocky trails in the least.



    Loads are gnarly terrain including Pisgah, Central PA, Breckenridge, Harrisonburh, VA... I'm never worried.
    WWW.TEAMDICKY.COM

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    Non-tapered steer tube and 135lbs... not worried about three foot drops and rocky trails in the least.



    Loads are gnarly terrain including Pisgah, Central PA, Breckenridge, Harrisonburh, VA... I'm never worried.
    Dude that is a bad ass video right there!

    Is that a Scandium Air 9 you're riding? It looks just like my bike. I even have a white stem on it just like yours.

    So, you can say that you have full confidence in your carbon fork?

  7. #7
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    Full confidence. And yes, it was a scandium Niner
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  8. #8
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    I've watched Dicky ride... you're likely to break yourself before you break the fork.
    Brickhouse Blog (most known unknown)

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  9. #9
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    The weakest link will give out first. I imagine that fork would be far from the weakest link in most people's rigs. Wheels and tires seem to give out first on weight weenie bikes. Ever get a tire out of true from tearing the casing before?

    That very last bit of that vid, I would be like WTF when I first see that, but when I see someone else do it, I wouldn't hesitate trying it myself.

  10. #10
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    Okay, well after watching some videos on it I have decided that it is adequate enough for my needs. I just placed an order for one on Jenson.

    This will be my first fork swap. I'd rather just do it myself because I want to learn more about bikes.

    Will I need to buy anything else separately to do this swap? Can I use the headset I have on right now with the new fork? Also I heard that I am going to need a star nut if I will be installing a new fork but I am unsure of what that is.

    Sorry to turn this thread into another direction but I might as well save some bandwith and ask while the topic is strong.

  11. #11
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    The Niner should come supplied with an expansion plug for use with the carbon steerer tube. Star nuts will damage the carbon. For trimming the steerer tube to length, use a new, fine tooth hacksaw blade, score where you want to cut, and tape below the cut to help keep it neat.

    You'll still be able to use the same headset, but Niner says not to use a wedge clamp style stem.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  12. #12
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    The Niner fork uses an expansion fitting which comes with the fork, no star nut needed. You can either carefully remove and reuse the lower race of your headset or buy another one if you anticipate switching between forks from time to time.

  13. #13
    Trail Ninja
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    Be careful removing the crown race off your old fork, especially if you try to do it with ghetto methods, tapping it loose with a tool that people love to use for all sorts of things.

  14. #14
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    How do you guys think the niner carbon fork holds up to rock impacts? I ride hard, and when I crash it is usually pretty dramatic. I have scraped my steel fork on some rocks crashing, and always wondered if the clearcoat on the carbon is thick enough, or is there a material you can lay over the legs to help protect them?

  15. #15
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    I ride my Niner carbon fork like Dicky^^ (not as elegantly though) and Im a fatty at 167lbs.

    Jumps, hucks and rock gardens alike and I am more afraid of my wheels caving in than my fork.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  16. #16
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    Dicky, you ride the Rocktown trails with that carbon fork? I've been debating putting one on my SS, but I'm a big guy - I ride relatively aggressively, but I try to minimize the punishment from it, I figure if you're taking those drops like in that video, and you hit the Rocktown trails on it, I shouldn't have a problem.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    ... and Im a fatty at 167lbs.
    i guess that makes me morbidly obese at 185

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by shreddr View Post
    i guess that makes me morbidly obese at 185
    Maybe he's short?

  19. #19
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    I have full confidence in my non-tapered Niner CF fork, and love rocky technical riding here in MD, PA, and WV. I run out of guts before the fork holds me back...

  20. #20
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